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7-Eleven Leasing Cleveland Stores From Lehigh Gas

CLEVELAND -- 7-Eleven Inc. is leasing 19 convenience stores in the Cleveland market from Lehigh Gas Partners LP. The effective date of the leases will vary, but all are expected to be in place by March 31. Fifteen are located in Cuyahoga County and four are in Lorain County.

Lehigh Gas will retain ownership of the sites, while 7-Eleven will rebrand the stores under its banner and manage their c-store operations. Lehigh Gas-Ohio LLC, an entity managed by Joe Topper, chairman and CEO of Lehigh Gas Partners, will continue to own and operate the retail fuel business at the sites.

"As the world leader in convenience retailing, 7-Eleven is a strong credit-rated tenant with a substantial balance sheet and a well-known global brand," stated Topper. "Lehigh Gas Partners looks forward to working with 7-Eleven and is confident customers will benefit from the rebranding of these locations."

Dallas-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 10,000 stores in North America and 50,000 stores globally. Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Gas Partners was formed to engage in the wholesale distribution of motor fuels and to own and lease real estate used in the retail distribution of motor fuels.

"We continue to look for opportunities to build our presence in Ohio through relationships with solid companies like Lehigh Gas Partners," stated 7-Eleven Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Stan Reynolds. "This is only the beginning, and with this transaction, we will create a strong presence in Cleveland on which to build."

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